With Nevada looking to snap streak, Kansas makes first visit

Nevada quarterback Brendon Lewis has completed 56 percent of his 53 attempts through two games this season.

Nevada quarterback Brendon Lewis has completed 56 percent of his 53 attempts through two games this season.
Photo by Steve Ranson.

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A look ahead to Saturday’s (7:30 p.m.) non-conference football game between the Nevada Wolf Pack (0-2) and Kansas Jayhawks (2-0) at Mackay Stadium:

HOW TO WATCH, LISTEN: TV: CBS Sports Network. Radio: 105.7 FM.

POINT SPREAD: Kansas is favored by 28.

AT STAKE FOR NEVADA: The Wolf Pack will take a school-record 12-game losing streak into Mackay Stadium on Saturday. Nevada has also lost six in a row at Mackay, equaling its longest losing streak at the stadium since the facility opened in 1966. The 1999 (last two) and 2000 teams (first four) also lost six straight at Mackay. The 1963 (last two) and 1964 teams (first five) lost seven in a row at the original Mackay Stadium. The school record for consecutive losses at home is 10, set from 1956-58.

AT STAKE FOR KANSAS: Kansas received 19 votes in the current Associated Press poll (29th overall) and 17 in the coaches’ poll (32nd overall) and could climb into the Top 25 of each with a victory at Nevada.

LOSING STREAK FACTS: The Wolf Pack is 0-6 both on the road and at home during its current 12-game losing streak. The streak includes two losses at home against FCS teams (Incarnate Word on Sept. 10, 2022, and Idaho on Sept. 9, 2023), the first and 12th losses in the streak. Three starting quarterbacks have shared in the streak. Nate Cox lost six of the games, while Shane Illingworth lost four and Brendon Lewis has lost two. The Pack has been outscored 444-185 during the streak, an average of 37-15. At kickoff on Saturday night, it will be 378 days since the Pack last won a game (Sept. 3, 2022, against Texas State), another school record.

KANSAS LAST WEEK: The Jayhawks beat Illinois at home, 34-23, as quarterback Jalon Daniel completed 21-of-29 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns. Running backs Devin Neal (10 carries, 120 yards) and Daniel Hishaw (12 carries, 98 yards) also stood out as the Jayhawks ran for 262 yards on 44 carries.

NEVADA LAST WEEK: The Wolf Pack opened its home season with a 33-6 loss to Idaho. It was the third time in the last two years the Pack failed to score a touchdown, following the 27-0 (Iowa) and 41-3 (Boise State) losses last year.

JAYHAWKS SHORTHANDED: Two Kansas defensive players (defensive end Austin Booker and cornerback Cobee Bryant) will have two sit out the first half on Saturday after being flagged for targeting penalties last week against Illinois.

KANSAS STAYING IN RENO: The Jayhawks will remain in Reno on Saturday night after playing the Pack at Mackay Stadium because the game doesn’t start until 9:30 p.m. (CDT). “It would be pretty tough (leaving after the game) with no sleep,” Kansas coach Lance Leipold said this week. “So, we’re going to let them get some sleep and eat breakfast there (in Reno) and then get back here (on Sunday in Lawrence, Kansas). Our players will adjust well but I just hope I can stay awake long enough for the end (of the game).”

DANIELS BANGED UP: Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels, this year’s Preseason Player of the Year in the Big 12, missed the Jayhawks’ 48-17 season-opening win over Missouri State because of a back injury. He also sat out practices earlier this week. Daniels, in his fourth season, is 330-of-528 passing for 2,812 yards and 28 touchdowns and has rushed for 552 yards and 13 touchdowns on 194 carries during his career.

GOING WEST AFTER TWO DECADES: This is Kansas’ first trip to the Pacific time zone since a 31-20 loss at UNLV on Sept. 7, 2002. Kansas has played just five games (3-2 record) against Mountain West teams since the Mountain West’s first season in 1999. The Jayhawks lost to San Diego State 41-13 in 1999; beat Wyoming in 2001 (27-14) and 2003 (42-35); lost to UNLV in 2002 (31-20) and beat the Rebels in 2003 (46-24).

THE SERIES: This is the first meeting between the Wolf Pack and Kansas. Nevada will make a trip to Lawrence, Kansas, to play the Jayhawks in 2029.

PACK VS. BIG 12: The Wolf Pack is 0-7 against the Big 12. Nevada lost to Texas Tech (2008, 2011), Missouri (2008, 2009), Nebraska (2007), Kansas State (2021) and Texas A&M (2015). The Wolf Pack is also 5-7-2 against five other teams currently in the Big 12 (Cincinnati, Central Florida, BYU, TCU and West Virginia).

THE HEAD COACHES: Nevada’s Ken Wilson is 2-12 in his second year as head coach. Wilson has never faced Kansas, either as a head coach or as an assistant at Nevada, Washington State or Oregon. Kansas’ Lance Leipold is 10-17, in his third season as head coach. He was 37-33 as Buffalo’s head coach from 2015-2020, losing to the Wolf Pack in 2015 and 2016. The 2016 loss (38-14) was at Mackay Stadium. Leipold also was 109-6 in eight seasons as head coach at Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater, winning six national championships.

LEIPOLD-NORVELL CONNECTION: Leipold coached at Wisconsin from 1991-93 as a graduate assistant. On those Badger staffs was also Jay Norvell, the Wolf Pack head coach from 2017-21. Norvell helped coach the Wisconsin offensive line, wide receivers and tight ends from 1989-94.

LEIPOLD-WILSON CONNECTION: Leipold and Wilson’s coaching and playing careers have never crossed paths but the two have very similar backgrounds. The two were born less than three months apart in the Midwest, Wilson on Feb. 17, 1964, in Virginia, Ill. and Leipold on May 6, 1964, in Jefferson, Wisc. Wilson and Leipold each played Division III football from 1983-86, Wilson at North Central College in Naperville, Ill. as a linebacker and Leipold as a quarterback at Wisconsin-Whitewater. Whitewater is in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) while North Central is in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW); they didn’t meet during Leipold’s or Wilson’s career from 1983-86.


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